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Air Fryer Cauliflower Gnocchi

Air fryer cauliflower gnocchi is so simple to make and comes out perfectly crispy every time! Great for a quick and easy dinner or even snacking (or a simple appetizer), cauliflower gnocchi in the air fryer are great served like pasta (covered in sauce) or dipped in your favorite dip. Air fried cauliflower gnocchi goes from frozen to crispy with a golden brown crust in 15 minutes.

Air fryer cauliflower gnocchi after cooking.

Why you will love this recipe

  • Quick and easy – no defrosting needed, you can put frozen cauliflower gnocchi in the air fryer basket and cook to brown and crispy in just 15 minutes. This recipe could not be easier to make! For the best results, it’s recommended that you shake the air fryer basket 1-2 times during cooking, but that’s as tough as it gets!
  • Versatile – use the air fryer cauliflower gnocchi in so many ways. Use it as a snack or appetizer served with your favorite dip (pesto, sundried tomato pesto, marinara, buffalo sauce, ketchup) or serve it just like pasta and pour your favorite pasta sauce over top for a simple meal everyone will love.
  • More veggies in your day! Cauliflower gnocchi has a base of cauliflower (yay more veggies) so it’s a great way to add more vegetables to your day. The Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi is 75% cauliflower. It’s a good way to sneak in more vegetables to your kiddos or picky eaters, as these taste like tater tots when cooked in the air fryer.
Bag of frozen cauliflower gnocchi.
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Ingredients

Cauliflower gnocchi – Frozen cauliflower gnocchi can be found at Trader Joe’s (gluten free, grain free, vegan) and some grocery stores carry Green Giant cauliflower gnocchi (vegan, not gluten free). You can also find cauliflower gnocchi that is shelf stable in vacuum sealed containers if you cannot find frozen.

How to make air fryer cauliflower gnocchi

Add the cauliflower gnocchi to the air fryer basket (I like to line the air fryer basket with a silicone liner for easy clean up).

Cook at 390F for 12-14 minutes until golden brown. Pause the air fryer during the last 5 minutes to shake the basket 1-2 times.

Before and after cooking cauliflower gnocchi in the air fryer.

Serve immediately as these are best right out of the air fryer.

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Top tips

  • Break up the gnocchi as best as possible before cooking in the air fryer. Usually, I like to press down on the bag before opening it to get as many of them broken up as possible.
  • The cauliflower gnocchi are the crispiest right out of the air fryer, so I wouldn’t recommend making these in advance.
  • If you need to double the recipe, make them in the oven instead of the air fryer as the first batch will get a bit soggy if it has to sit out. See below for the oven instructions.
  • Do not follow the instructions on the bag to boil or microwave the gnocchi. You will end up with a sticky, mushy, unappetizing mess in the pot.
  • Every air fryer cooks differently based on the size and wattage. This recipe was tested with a Ninja Air Fryer and works out perfectly every time. You may need to cook the cauliflower gnocchi 1-2 additional minutes depending on your air fryer.
  • I highly recommend using a silicone air fryer basket liner when making these air fryer cauliflower gnocchi. It keeps them from sticking without using any oil. It’s also a breeze to clean up (just toss it in the dishwasher).
  • Pause and shake the air fryer basket a few times during the last few minutes to ensure it gets crispy on all sides.
hand holding cauliflower gnocchi dipped in pesto.

Ways to serve cauliflower gnocchi cooked in the air fryer

Use like pasta: Top the air fryer gnocchi with your favorite pasta sauce (marinara, sundried tomato alfredo, creamy tomato sauce, or creamy pesto sauce).

Like tater tots: Serve with 10 minute Italian chicken and the best broccoli for a simple, delicious meal.

As an appetizer or snack: Serve the crispy cauliflower gnocchi cooked in the air fryer with your favorite dip. Some of my favorites include:

Common questions

What is cauliflower gnocchi?

Cauliflower gnocchi is gnocchi made with cauliflower instead of potatoes as the base of the gnocchi. Gnocchi are an Italian potato dumpling that is used like pasta. Traditional gnocchi are typically made from potatoes and flour. They are usually boiled then served with pasta sauce. You can also pan fry them after boiling them for a different texture.

Depending on the brand, cauliflower gnocchi can have a variety of ingredients, but it is usually vegan and dairy free. Many of the brands you can find are gluten free but some are not so be sure to read the ingredients if you are gluten free.

Air fryer basket filled with cauliflower gnocchi.

Where can you find cauliflower gnocchi?

Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi and the frozen cauliflower gnocchi from Whole Foods have simple ingredients and are vegan, gluten free, dairy free and grain free. The ingredients in Trader Joe’s Cauliflower gnocchi and the frozen cauliflower gnocchi from Whole foods are cauliflower, cassava flour, potato starch, extra virgin olive oil and sea salt. According to the Trader Joe’s website, this frozen cauliflower gnocchi is made with 75% cauliflower!

Frozen cauliflower gnocchi from Green Giant is made with cauliflower, water, durum wheat semolina, dried cauliflower, sea salt. This brand of cauliflower gnocchi is vegan and dairy free but not gluten free because of the wheat. Green Giant frozen gnocchi is made with 40% cauliflower.

Many other brands have come up with a shelf stable cauliflower gnocchi that you can buy. Again, the ingredients will vary so be sure to check the ingredients. Many of these shelf-stable vaccum sealed cauliflower gnocchi are vegan, gluten free and dairy free. Whole Foods Brand and Tuscanini Brand are both great options for shelf stable cauliflower gnocchi. Note that this will cook faster than frozen (see below).

What do cauliflower gnocchi taste like?

There is no detectable cauliflower flavor in cauliflower gnocchi. When cooked in the air fryer, they have the texture and taste of a tater tot. When you top them with pasta sauce, they taste like pasta.

Are Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi gluten free, Whole30 or paleo?

Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi and Whole Foods frozen cauliflower gnocchi are gluten free and vegan.

Paleo diets typically do not allow for potatoes, so they are not considered paleo, however everyone lives by a different “flavor” of paleo, so these may fit into your paleo diet.

These are grain free and all the ingredients by themselves are Whole30 but these may fall into the SWYPO category and therefore not Whole30 friendly. If you are a bit looser with your Whole30, the ingredients are technically compliant.

Air fryer cauliflower gnocchi on a pink plate with ramekin of pesto.

Is cauliflower gnocchi keto friendly?

Even though most of the frozen cauliflower gnocchi is made from cauliflower, the starches (cassava flour and potato starch) add a significant amount of carbs. Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi are not keto friendly because of the added starches. Frozen cauliflower gnocchi are lower in carbs than traditional gnocchi, so if you are looking to lower your carb intake, these are a great substitute.

Can you make cauliflower gnocchi in the oven?

Yes, when I am making a larger batch of cauliflower gnocchi, I use the oven instead of the air fryer. Preheat the oven to 450F. Cook for 20 minutes, flipping after 15 minutes.

Can you make cauliflower gnocchi on the stove?

Yes, you can add frozen cauliflower gnocchi to a skillet over medium heat in a tablespoon or two of olive oil (or butter). Flip the gnocchi every few minutes until crispy on all sides.

Can you air fry vacuum sealed cauliflower gnocchi?

Yes. You can find vacuum sealed cauliflower gnocchi at many specialty stores (like Whole Foods or online).  Since these don’t need to defrost before crisping up, they don’t need as much time. Start checking them at 7 minutes.

Storing leftovers

Fridge: Store leftover cauliflower gnocchi in the fridge for up to 4 days in an airtight container.

Freezer: I do not recommend freezing cauliflower gnocchi after cooking as it may get soggy when defrosting.

Reheating leftover air fryer cauliflower gnocchi

  • Air fryer: Place the gnocchi in the air fryer basket at 360F for 3-5 minutes until crispy.
  • Stovetop: Preheat a skillet over medium heat. Spray with olive oil or avocado oil spray and add gnocchi. Cook 2-3 minutes per side until crispy and hot.
  • Toaster oven: Place on a baking sheet and toast until hot.
Hand holding a single cauliflower gnocchi over the air fryer basket.

If you love this recipe, you should try

Pumpkin Gnocchi

Vegan Gnocchi Soup

Air Fryer Sweet Potato Cubes

Air Fryer Delicata Squash

Air Fryer Frozen Cauliflower

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White plate with air fryer cauliflower gnocchi.

Air Fryer Cauliflower Gnocchi

Air fryer cauliflower gnocchi is so simple and comes out perfectly crispy every time! Ready in just 15 minutes and perfect for weeknight meals or as a snack or appetizer! Serve with pasta sauce or your favorite dipping sauce!
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Course: Appetizer, dinner, Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: air fryer cauliflower gnocchi, cauliflower gnocchi air fryer
Cook Time: 13 mins
Total Time: 13 mins
Servings: 2

Ingredients

  • 1 bag frozen cauliflower gnocchi (12 oz)

Instructions

  • Open the bag and pour the frozen cauliflower gnocchi into the air fryer basket. Be sure to break up any of the large frozen together pieces so there is just one layer of gnocchi.
  • Turn on the air fryer at 390F for 13 minutes. During the last 5 minutes of cooking, pause and shake the basket 1-2 times.
  • Serve hot. Eat like tater tots with your favorite dip or pour your favorite pasta sauce on top.

Notes

Top tips
  • The cauliflower gnocchi are the crispiest right out of the air fryer, so I wouldn’t recommend making these in advance.
  • If you need to double the recipe, make them in the oven instead of the air fryer. 
  • Every air fryer cooks differently based on the size and wattage. This recipe was tested with a Ninja Air Fryer and works out perfectly every time. You may need to cook the cauliflower gnocchi 1-2 additional minutes depending on your air fryer.
  • I highly recommend using a silicone air fryer basket liner when making these air fryer cauliflower gnocchi. It keeps them from sticking without using any oil. It’s also a breeze to clean up (just toss it in the dishwasher).
  • Pause and shake the air fryer basket a few times during the last few minutes to ensure it gets crispy on all sides.
Can you make cauliflower gnocchi in the oven?
Yes, when I am making a larger batch of cauliflower gnocchi, I use the oven instead of the air fryer. Preheat the oven to 450F. Cook for 20 minutes, flipping after 15 minutes.
Can you make cauliflower gnocchi on the stove?
Yes, you can add frozen cauliflower gnocchi to a skillet over medium heat in a tablespoon or two of olive oil (or butter). Flip the gnocchi every few minutes until crispy on all sides.
Can you air fry vacuum sealed cauliflower gnocchi?
Yes. You can find vacuum sealed cauliflower gnocchi at many specialty stores (like Whole Foods or online).  Since these don’t need to defrost before c7sping up, they don’t need as much time. Start checking them at 7 minutes.
Storing leftovers
  • Fridge: Store leftover cauliflower gnocchi in the fridge for up to 4 days in an airtight container.
  • Freezer: I do not recommend freezing cauliflower gnocchi after cooking as the texture will not be the same once defrosted. 
Reheating leftover air fryer cauliflower gnocchi
  • Air fryer: Place the gnocchi in the air fryer basket at 360F for 3-5 minutes until crispy.
  • Stovetop: Preheat a skillet over medium heat. Spray with olive oil or avocado oil spray and add gnocchi. Cook 2-3 minutes per side until crispy and hot.
  • Toaster oven: Place on a baking sheet and toast until hot.
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Nutrition Information

Nutrition Facts
Amount per Serving
Calories
165
Fat
 
4
g
Carbohydrates
 
27
g
Fiber
 
8
g
Sugar
 
1
g
Where does nutrition info come from? Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy, sourced from the USDA Food Database.
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